Tennis ace Rafael Nadal is one of the greatest players to have graced the game. There are no two ways about the fact that he is adored all over the world. Over the years, the Spaniard has entertained all tennis lovers with his ability to overturn matches with his spirit to never give up.
Whenever there are great products, people often forget the efforts that go into the making of it. In this case, it’s Toni Nadal, Rafa’s uncle. It was he who encouraged his nephew to pick up a racket and groomed him throughout his childhood. Had it not been for him, we never know the player Nadal would’ve turned out.
Recently, on catching up with Toni, he spoke more about his methods of grooming Rafa. Although he admits his contributions were no longer necessary, he did feel he had to drill the right mentality in him.
Toni Nadal: Rafael Nadal Didn’t Require My Help Anymore
He said, “I had come to believe that my contribution was no longer necessary. I’ve been a very demanding coach all my life. But it was always my goal to educate him to demand everything from himself. The job of a trainer is to make yourself dispensable. I think I did it.”
While being asked if he misses being in his nephew’s corner, Toni Nadal seemed pleased to no longer being part of the Rafael Nadal camp. Elaborating on that aspect, Toni said, “No [I don’t miss it],” he said. “I was very lucky to train a great player who is also my nephew. I enjoyed that and I feel grateful for it too. But I like to train children, like now at the academy in Manacor, because I have the feeling that I can give them more than my nephew.”
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The 13-time French Open champion has set up his own academy in his hometown in Mallorca. Toni Nadal spends time coaching the youngsters out there. This attitude gives a clear indication of his passion for the game.